The Commonwealth Club Presents Stewart Brand



Thursday, October 15, 7:00 p.m.

Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto  BUY NOW

Cubberley Theatre, 4000 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto

According to Stewart Brand, a lifelong environmentalist who sees everything in terms of solvable design problems, three profound transformations are under way on Earth right now. Climate change is real and is pushing us toward managing the planet as a whole. Urbanization--half the world's population now lives in cities, and eighty percent will by midcentury--is altering humanity's land impact and wealth. And biotechnology is becoming the world's dominant engineering tool. In light of these changes, Brand suggests that environmentalists are going to have to reverse some longheld opinions and embrace tools that they have traditionally distrusted. Only a radical rethinking of traditional green pieties will allow us to forestall the cataclysmic deterioration of the earth's resources.

In the end, says Brand, the environmental movement must become newly responsive to fast-moving science and take up the tools and discipline of engineering. We have to learn how to manage the planet's global-scale natural infrastructure with as light a touch as possible and as much intervention as necessary. 

Stewart Brand trained originally as an ecologist. His legendary Whole Earth Catalog (1968-1985) won the National Book Award in 1972. Brand, whose previous books include The Media Lab, How Buildings Learn, and The Clock of the Long Now, is president and cofounder of The Long Now Foundation and cofounder of Global Business Network. 

For reservations, call 1-800-847-7730 or register online at

Event date: 
Thursday, October 15, 2009 - 7:00pm